Luke 21 - The Widow's Offering
In this chapter, Jesus warns his followers about the fall of Jerusalem, but the chapter begins with yet another of my favorite childhood stories. My daddy had to explain what a widow was and why it was so important to understand that she gave all the money she had … even though it was very little money. He explained that her gift was more important because it was all she had. I was probably five years old.
Going through this Gospel has really made me reminisce about all the people who helped raise me in church! Mother and Daddy did a great job teaching us and teaching other children, too … but I had some wonderful Sunday School teachers. I distinctly remember a teacher showing us two pennies in a little basket that we passed for our offering. She told the story explaining the importance of the widow’s gift.
Jesus talked about how the temple was going to be destroyed and how Jerusalem would fall. Of course, nobody wanted to hear that, so they asked Jesus when this would happen. He further described that many false messiahs would come and claim to be Jesus. He warned his followers not to be fooled by them and not to follow them. He told them that all the wars and earthquakes and famines would come and would be frightening, but that they had to happen. Jesus wept for Jerusalem because He knew what was going to happen, even though it would be another 40 years before the city was destroyed.
Jesus told them that there would be signs of His second coming and he shared the parable of the fig tree, using it as an example. The tree buds and summer is near. Fruit is coming. He said that in the same way, signs would predict the second coming.
Jesus is in Jerusalem, knowing exactly what is going to happen to Him. He is trying to prepare His followers in the best possible way. His instructions were simple. Be prayerful and be ready, always.
My take-away from this chapter is also simple. Always be ready! In old age, my dad would make me so angry when he would say he was ready … that he had more on the other side than he had on earth. I couldn’t imagine life without him and I couldn’t imagine that he really felt that way. Now that I am an orphan child and all the people who loved me unconditionally are on the other side, I understand! I’m far from ready, though! I have lots to do.
This has become one of my favorite wintertime recipes!
Roasted Butternut Squash
4 cups cubed raw butternut squash
2 Tablespoons orange infused canola oil
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
Place the squash on a heavy baking sheet. Drizzle the oil over the squash and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Slice the orange and lay it over the squash. Roast at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes until the squash is tender and slightly brown on the edges. Remove from the oven immediately and serve warm or at room temperature. Olive oil may be used instead of canola oil and if you don’t have orange infused oil, squeeze the juice and sprinkle the zest of an orange over the squash before roasting.